Blog, Questions to ask yourself

Questions to ask yourself: Am I a Christian?

I became a believer when I was 8 years old. I remember my dad coming into my room and explaining the gospel to me using several verses from Romans, often called the Roman Road (Romans 3:23, 6:23, 5:8, and 10:9-10.) I was baptized on Easter morning, which is still really cool to me. Since I was eight, there wasn’t a big turn around testimony like some people have. I realized I needed Jesus and asked Him to save me. I saw things change in my life, like a decreasing fear of death, but a lot of it was subtle change that happened over lots of time.

As I got older, I grew mentally where I could ask harder questions. One of the questions I really grappled with through my teenage years was whether I was a Christian or not. Sometimes I would hear a really emotional sermon or have a stirring conversation and doubt my faith. I had countless conversations with older saints questioning whether I was a Christian.

I believe it’s good for us to evaluate ourselves to see if we’re a Christian. In fact, the book of 1 John was written for this very purpose. In 1 John 5:13 John states, “I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life.” (ESV) An entire book of the New Testament is there to give us confidence that we’re a Christian and to help us answer this question. Here we will look at 5 marks from 1 John of a true believer. The first mark is the one that makes us a believer and the rest are fruit that should come as a result of that salvation.

1. Do I believe that Jesus is the Christ?

According to 1 John 5:1, you must believe that Jesus is the Christ to be born of God. So to be a Christian, you must believe that Jesus was fully man and fully God. He lived a perfect life and died on the cross to take the penalty for that sin. He then rose from the dead and now rules eternally in heaven. If there is a time in the past that I am convinced I became a Christian, did I believe then that Jesus is the Savior and only way to heaven? Do I believe this now? For you to be a Christian, you have to believe that Jesus is who the Bible says He is and trust Him alone for your salvation.

2. Am I walking in the light?

1 John 1:6-2:6 speaks of believers as “walking in the light.” To walk in the light, means to walk in purity, turning from sin (wrong things we do) and turning to God. This doesn’t mean you don’t sin. In fact, as these verses state, to say that you don’t have sin means you’re a liar, because everyone has sin. Believers are different because they repent and confess those sins to God. They admit they do wrong and don’t want to do it anymore. They ask God to forgive them and help them through the power of His Spirit to stop doing those things. Then as we admit them to God, He forgives them and cleans us from the stain those sins leave behind. Though we will always still sin, it becomes less the pattern of a Christian’s life. (See 1 John 3:6 and 5:18.) The Holy Spirit gives us power to increasingly say no to sin and yes to a more holy lifestyle.

Another aspect of walking in the light is that we walk the same way Jesus walked. What does that mean? We know that Jesus did the commandments of the Father. He listened to God and followed what He said to do. Now we listen to God as He speaks through His Word, the Bible. So a Christian will follow what the Bible says and submit his/her life to it. (1 John 2:3.) They will love God and obey His commandments (1 John 5:2.) They won’t love the world or the things of the world (1 John 2:15.) They will love God and His Word more as they learn more about what it says.

3. Do I love others?

This mark of a true believer is repeated several times throughout 1 John. In 1 John 3:18 we see that loving those around you, especially the brothers or fellow believers, can’t just be a matter of talk but it is lived out in our actions. So as you attempt to discern whether you’re a Christian, you need to ask how you are loving those around you. What are your thoughts toward people you encounter? Are they mostly negative, focusing on weaknesses and how you’re better than they are? Or do you think well of people and work to see positive traits and strengths? Do you encourage people or tear them down to make yourself look better? Do you pray for people and hope the best for them or do you rejoice when something bad happens because you feel like they deserved it? All these questions can help discern whether you’re really loving others.

4. Am I continuing in fellowship with other believers?

I’ve heard people say, you don’t have to go to church to be a Christian. True- going to church doesn’t make you a Christian. But real Christians go to church. Here in 1 John 2:19 we see this as John says that the people who went out from them weren’t really of them. We’re not talking about changing churches here, but quitting church. A Christian will desire fellowship with people who can encourage them in their faith. In Hebrews 10:24-25 we’re told not to neglect meeting together. So if we’re walking in the light and submitting to the authority of God’s Word, we will be going to church. I think it’s important to ask why a person isn’t going to church. Are we in sin and don’t want to be confronted or held accountable? Are we in conflict with other believers and wanting to hold onto bitterness and unforgiveness? Are we arrogant, thinking we don’t need other believers to encourage us in our walk but that we can do it on our own? Are we prideful, thinking that the church is full of sinners and we’re somehow better than them? If I’m a Christian, I will continue in fellowship with other believers.

5. Do I want to tell others about Jesus?

The final mark we’ll discuss here of a believer is that they want to tell others about Jesus. In 1 John 4:14 it says that the disciples had “seen and testify that the Father has sent His Son to be the Savior of the world.” They were telling other people about the good news of Jesus and His salvation. Do you have a desire to do that? Does your heart overflow with the joy of your salvation so much that you want to share that joy with others? Are you so convinced of the reality of heaven and hell that you are motivated to share with others in a way that snatches them from hell? Are you ashamed to declare your beliefs at work? Are you too scared of what others will think of you? If you’re really a Christian, though you may sometimes feel fear or lack confidence, your desire will be to tell others about the life changing news of Jesus.

Ultimately, in my journey for assurance of my salvation, I had to come to point where I trusted it wasn’t me who saved me but God. I had to believe that when He said if you repent and believe in the gospel you will be saved, He meant it. It didn’t depend on my perfection of that act but His faithfulness to His Word. Though there is one moment in time when I became a Christian who was changed from dead to alive spiritually, the work of the Holy Spirit in my life is ongoing and proof of my salvation. I need to continue to rest in the fact that Jesus died in my place and I need to trust in Him and not my works to save me. It’s good for me to re-evaluate sometimes whether I am producing fruit in keeping with repentance, and this should be an encouragement. If for you it’s not, I challenge you to ponder why not and if you’re truly trusting in Christ for your salvation.

4 thoughts on “Questions to ask yourself: Am I a Christian?”

  1. Enjoyed the read! So true, and some days I feel in doubt, too. I know the truth but some days I fall short of the glory of God. This world is changing for the worst and that bothers me. I know I should trust in the Lord more. I love my family and I pray for them. 1971 I asked Jesus to come into my heart. He has forgiven me, but some of my sins I can’t forgive myself. That’s one thing that really bothers me. I know Jesus died at the cross for me. Thank you again for blog. I hope to read more!

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